A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Houghton College Philharmonia

The Houghton Philharmonia is a flexible group of 50-60 orchestral musicians, including strings, winds, and percussion.  Both music and non-music majors participate in this ensemble, as well as players from the community.  Student membership is open; seating assignments are made based on a rotational system, enabling advanced musicians to mentor members with less experience. 

Prospective students: We invite you to visit a Philharmonia rehearsal during your visit to Houghton College. Rehearsals are always open; e-mail us for details a few days in advance of your visit.

The Philharmonia believes in going beyond being a "Sonic Museum" and regularly performs works by living composers, including repertoire from the film, pop, video game and art music genres. Houghton student and faculty composers frequently have their music performed and read in rehearsal.  Most recently the orchestra has performed music by Mark Hijleh, David Davies, Mason Bates and Robert Denham.  In addition, the traditional musical eras—works of Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Post-Romantic, and later Twentieth-Century masters--are performed and studied.  In Fall 2014, the Philharmonia will continue its longstanding Greatbatch Concerto Competition; winners will perform with the Philharmonia or the Symphonic Winds Ensemble.

The Houghton Philharmonia is directed by Dr. Justin Davis.  Additionally, the strings are coached regularly by Prof. Stephen Thomas, and graduate students provide conducting assistance.

Instrumental Ensemble Placement Auditions 

All Houghton students are welcome to play in the Philharmonia Orchestra after completing a short placement audition. Audition information and sign-up is online at https://houghtonbandorchauditions.youcanbook.me.  Please visit this link to sign up for a 15-minute audition slot during an available time. New students to Houghton are requested to audition Friday evening or Saturday, and returning students are requested to take Saturday or Sunday slots.  Monday morning slots are reserved for people who absolutely cannot return before Monday.  The auditions will be held in Room 210 in the Center for the Arts.  Please bring your instrument, a short 3-5 minute prepared piece, and be ready to play scales and sight-read.  Please arrive a few minutes early. If you have any questions regarding auditions or participation in an instrumental ensemble, please email Dr. Justin Davis at justin.davis@houghton.edu.  We look forward to hearing your audition, meeting you, and having you participate with us this year!  All Houghton students are encouraged to audition to participate in Philharmonia, regardless of major!